May 27, 2010 / 8:12 AM / 9 years ago

Slim may buy PT stake to block Telefonica - report

LISBON, May 27 (Reuters) - Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, may buy a stake in Portugal Telecom (PT) PTC.LS to block a possible takeover bid by Spanish operator Telefonica (TEF.MC), business daily Diario Economico reported on Thursday.

The paper, citing unnamed sources, said Slim has been in contact with PT and some of its main shareholders such as Banco Espirito Santo, and has a team in Lisbon preparing the operation.

Slim’s America Moviles (AMXL.MX) (AMX.N) owns the Claro mobile operator in Brazil that competed with market leader Vivo VIVO.SA which is owned by PT and Telefonica.

The Mexican’s goal is to prevent Telefonica gaining full control of Vivo by buying PT.

Earlier this month, PT rejected Telefonica’s offer to buy its stake in Vivo for 5.7 billion euros ($7 billion). On Wednesday the Spanish operator’s finance director was quoted in a newspaper interview threatening a hostile takeover of PT in an attempt to persuade it to let Vivo go. (Reporting by Shrikesh Laxmidas; Editing by Dan Lalor) ($1 = 0.8139 euro)

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